So, the people of the UK are facing a second general election in two years. And people with multiple sclerosis and other disabilities are worried what the results of polling day may mean for them. It could give prime minister Theresa May even more MPs to support her European exit strategy which is likely to lead to reduced benefits.
Mrs May has repeatedly dismissed the idea of holding another election but the fact that she now has one so is no real surprise for anyone with a healthy skepticism towards the honesty and trustworthiness of politicians of any nationality.
By calling an early general election, the prime minister gas gone back on her own statements. Indeed, she has repeatedly refused to call an election earlier than the due date of 2020.
In the last weeks and months, her spokesmen have maintained her public position that she herself expressed on the BBC TV’s Andrew Marr Show last year, Mrs May herself said: “I don’t think there’s a need for an election. I think the next election will be in 2020.”
When pressed by Marr, May was more direct, saying: “I am not going to call a snap general election.”
No ifs, no buts – just a categoric statement that there would not be early an election.
This week came her announcement. The prime minister went back on her word and called a snap general election to be held on June 8.
Should we be surprised? Of course not, it’s just another politician proving you can’t believe a word they say.
Let’s consider what it means. Of course, all UK citizens will potentially be affected, whether or not they vote. And that’s because the composition of the House of Commons will materially affect the outcome of the Brexit negotiations which could significantly shape their future.
Then there are those of us who are receiving disability benefits. We stand to be affected by the fact that UK laws are likely to be less generous without the EU looking over its shoulder.
The likelihood of a Conservative government in a UK, without EU constraints, is not something that I can anticipate with much pleasure, in fact not with any pleasure at all – but, while I live in Spain, at least I have the right to vote back in the UK.
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50shadesofsun.com is the personal website of Ian Franks, who has enjoyed a successful career as a journalist, from reporter to editor, in the print media. During that career he gained a Journalist of the Year award in his native UK. He was diagnosed with MS in 2002 but continued working until mobility problems forced him to retire early in late 2006. He now lives in the south of Spain. Besides MS, Ian is also able to write about both epilepsy and cardiovascular matters from a patient’s perspective and is a keen advocate on mobility and accessibility issues.